NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Crude oil prices advanced for a fifth-straight session, rising slightly Monday to settle above $80 a barrel, but gains were tempered by a stronger dollar.
What prices are doing: Crude oil for March delivery rose 39 cents to settle at $80.16 a barrel.
Prices rose 7.7% during a holiday-shortened week, settling last Friday at $79.81 a barrel on concerns over strikes at French refineries and a report that showed a dip in U.S. inflation.
What's driving prices: With no major economic reports due Monday, investors looked to the dollar for direction.
The greenback was flat against the euro late Monday and was down slightly against the pound and the yen. Earlier in the session, crude prices rose to a high of $80.51 when the dollar was softer against all three rival currencies.
Oil, like other commodities, is priced in dollars, and a weaker greenback boosts prices.
What analysts are saying: "I think investors are pretty much looking at all the usual suspects, plus one," said energy economist Jim Williams, president of WTRG Economics.
In addition the the direction of the dollar, Williams said investors will be looking at the Iran's nuclear program.
"The market may be in for the usual emotional swing depending on what [Iranian President Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad says today about the country's nuclear program," he said. "Iran goes back and forth, doing a dance in both directions, and the market seems to dance with it."
He said any discussion about an attack or sanctions imposed by the United States or Israel on Iran will drive Ahmadinejad to react with threats to block the Strait of Hormuz, which would trigger a short-term spike in oil prices.
|Overnight Avg Rate||Latest||Change||Last Week|
|30 yr fixed||3.80%||3.88%|
|15 yr fixed||3.20%||3.23%|
|30 yr refi||3.82%||3.93%|
|15 yr refi||3.20%||3.23%|
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